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Acupuncture reduces post-operative pain following gynecologic and abdominal surgeries. A new study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology concludes that, “Pain control after hospital discharge is suboptimal for many women after both vaginal and abdominal surgery.” The researchers add that there is a need to improve post-operative at-home pain control measures, “Given increasingly rapid hospital discharge….” Acupuncture helps to improve recovery times and improves at-home pain control.

In Anesthesiology, The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, research concludes that, “Preoperative insertion of intradermal (acupuncture) needles reduces postoperative pain, the analgesic requirement, and opioid-related side effects after both upper and lower abdominal surgery. Acupuncture analgesia also reduces the activation of the sympathoadrenal system that normally accompanies surgery.” In another study published in Pain, the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, researchers conclude that, “Our findings demonstrates that preoperative treatment with low-EA (electroacupuncture) and high-EA (electroacupuncture) can reduce postoperative analgesic requirements and associated side effects in patients undergoing lower abdominal surgery.” In yet another study published in the BJA, British Journal of Anaesthesia, researchers conclude that, “Perioperative acupuncture may be a useful adjunct for acute postoperative pain management.” The researchers also note that acupuncture reduced opioid side-effects including nausea, dizziness, sedation, pruritus and urinary retention.

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References:
1. Obstetrics & Gynecology. April 2012 - Volume 119 - Issue 4 - p 780–784. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31824bb15e
2. Anesthesiology. August 2001 - Volume 95 - Issue 2 - pp 349-356. Preoperative Intradermal Acupuncture Reduces Postoperative Pain, Nausea and Vomiting, Analgesic Requirement, and Sympathoadrenal Responses. Kotani, Naoki M.D, Hashimoto, Hiroshi M.D.; Sato, Yutaka M.D.; Sessler, Daniel I. M.D.; Yoshioka, Hideki M.D.; Kitayama, Masatou M.D.; Yasuda, Tadanobu M.D.; Matsuki, Akitomo M.D.
3. The effect of high and low frequency electroacupuncture in pain after lower abdominal surgery. Jaung-Geng Lin, Ming-Wu Lo, Yeong-Ray Wen, Ching-Liang Hsieh, Shen-Kou Tsai, Wei-Zen Sun. PAIN. October 2002 (Vol. 99, Issue 3, Pages 509-514)
4. Br. J. Anaesth. (2008) 101 (2): 151-160. doi: 10.1093/bja/aen14